For the first time in years, there is an awful lot of interest in Scottish football this season. Indeed, the Scottish Premiership is slowly emerging as the hipster’s choice, despite the fact that Celtic have been thoroughly dominant for seven years in a row, it seems there’s been a slight change of late.
Perhaps that’s down to the problems Brendan Rodgers encountered on the transfer front over the course of the summer. Perhaps that’s been the scintillating start made by Craig Levein’s Hearts side. Perhaps it’s all down to Neil Lennon’s work with Hibernian, making them a thoroughly entertaining side to watch, despite their obvious flaws.
A case can be made for all of those, though Steven Gerrard’s appointment as Rangers manager is arguably the biggest thing to bring interest to the SPFL. Indeed, the capture of one of Britain’s biggest ever names in football to battle his former boss in one of the game’s fiercest rivalries has created a narrative many people can get on board with.
However, according to Wayne Rooney, perhaps that won’t last all too long.
Now with DC United, England’s all-time top goalscorer told the Mail on Sunday that he thinks his former international teammate is destined to work in the Premier League as a manager in the not so distant future.
If Rooney’s right and both Gerrard, and indeed Frank Lampard at Derby County, to attract interest from south of the border, Celtic certainly stand to gain.
That’s not to say Gerrard has had everything his own way, of course. The Hoops’ win over the Light Blues in the Old Firm derby certainly proved that the Anfield idol had a long way to go until he can create a serious challenger to the champions, though losing him so quickly after his appointment would be a blow.
Indeed, Gerrard was hugely backed over the course of the summer by the Ibrox top brass and, considering the club’s standing right now, those behind the scenes would surely fear any interest. After such a big overhaul, the idea of Gerrard being tempted away would surely cause issues for Rangers.
Whether Rooney’s timeframe is a realistic one or not remains to be seen, though it’s not hard to imagine a Premier League club taking an interest. Due to the frantic nature of life in England’s top tier, managers are often sacked without a succession plan in place and it’s not hard to imagine an iconic figure such as Gerrard attracting glances.
Tactically, Gerrard hasn’t done much to scare Celtic so far. However, he’s the kind of figure who can unite people around him, so the idea of him building a long-term project should scare the Hoops, especially when you look at the Gers’ lengthy but successful Europa League campaign thus far.
Should Rooney’s prediction come true, it’s very good news for Celtic indeed.